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The latest coronavirus developments in Costa Rica (May 21)

May 21, 2021

The Health Ministry on Thursday evening reported 40 new deaths related to Covid-19 over the previous 24 hours, the second-highest figure in Costa Rica during the pandemic.

In total, Costa Rica has registered 3,736 deaths associated with the disease since the pandemic began here last March. Covid-19 was Costa Rica’s leading cause of death in 2020, the Health Ministry has said.

Deaths are considered “related to” Covid-19 in Costa Rica until further forensic work confirms the cause of death. Historically, 90% of deaths “related to” the disease are ultimately attributed to the virus.

Meanwhile, the country continues experiencing elevated hospitalizations. On Thursday, there were 1,431 hospitalized patients, 89 more than a week ago. Of those, 520 were in intensive care, 88 more than last Thursday.

The public-hospital system says its maximum optimal capacity for Covid-19 intensive-care patients is 359; since Costa Rica has surpassed that figure, the Caja has had to sacrifice quality of care for patients with other emergencies.

As of Friday morning, 24 people in critical or severe condition cannot be transferred to the appropriate ICU due to a saturation of beds, CRHoy reports.

Costa Rica on Thursday added 2,812 new coronavirus cases.

For context:

  • Respiratory viruses killed 23 people in Costa Rica in all of 2018.
  • The Social Security System says that never before in its history have more than 1,000 patients been hospitalized with the same diagnosis.

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